Angela Allan ASI Sommelier Battle at VinExpo Hong Kong

  • Celia Hay

ASI Sommelier Battle Vinexpo Asia, Hong Kong, May 2024

Angela Allan was invited by ASI Association of Sommeliers to VinExpo Hong Kong, to participate in the Sommelier Battle Masterclass where ASI sommeliers discuss a topic of their interest and hold a tasting for the visitors of the fair. 

As well as myself, there were two other sommeliers presenting. Chuan Ann from Malaysia, who I had met in Kuala Lumpur at the ASI Bootcamp 2022, and again in Paris at the ASI World Best Sommelier competition, and then in Sydney at the CMS Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Programme. The other sommelier was  Nutawan Nuch (Nut) from Thailand who also competed at the ASI World Best Sommelier competition 2023.

I chose to showcase Matahiwi Methode, a Wairarapa wine that I had tasted when I went on a field trip with Wairarapa Winegrowers in 2023.  My canapé was Glazed quail with corn puree and pistachio. The wine really brought out the earthy and gamey flavours in the Quail and the creamy and crunchy components accented the texture of the wine. 


Chuan presented Franciacorta Saten from Bella Vista, method traditional wine from Italy.

Nut presented Champagne Drappier Rosé. 

We each had about 15 minutes to talk, not only about the wine, but their regions and then to share a small canapé to pair with our wine. 

VinExpo is an incredible showcase of the world of wine with opportunities to taste many of the top wines of the world. It is really meant  for people who are distributing and importing wines but I would encourage anyone to attend. It’s fascinating. 

Champion Hong Kong Sommelier Reeze Choi gave a blind tasting masterclass where there was a Chinese Bordeaux blend that was very distinctive and totally stoodout from the other wines. I have never tasted a wine like that- almost like black licorice.

On this trip I wanted to taste some of the top Chateaux from Bordeaux and especially those listed at Josh Emett’s Onslow where I am sommelier. I gravitated to the Union des Grand Cru de Bordeaux area which had an extensive selection of wines. 

I also discovered a new Valpolicella producer by meeting her in a wine bar the day before! Chiara Turati from Terre di Leone in Marano making really fresh and exciting Valpolicella that have a great personality.

I enjoyed a Sake Tasting especially the Madeira style of sake Ichinokura Madena was fab and surprising!

It was also very nice to catch up with the New Zealand wineries at the NZ Winegrowers Pavilion.

This was my first time in Hong Kong and would highly recommend it to anyone. Hong Kong is very easy to get around and just a beautiful and welcoming city.

Angela Allan

May 28 2024

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